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Where Does Hotel Draw the Line in Protecting Guest Privacy?

Discussion in 'Misc. Vegas Chat' started by luvzmuzik, Mar 24, 2015.

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  1. luvzmuzik

    luvzmuzik Tourist

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    Check out this article: http://www.beaumontenterprise.com/news/crime/article/US-judge-to-hear-arguments-in-Vegas-FBI-ruse-6152250.php

    Among other things, I find it interesting that this story makes no substantive mention of the hotel's culpability in this case. It sounds like Caesar's cooperated fully with the feds right down to providing contractor information and allowing Internet service to be cut off - all before a search warrant had been issued! I know what the hotel's motivation was, but it seems that a line may have been crossed in terms of guest privacy. It sounds like the dudes were guilty and there's always more to the story. Still, it is troubling on its face. I guess a hotel has the right to determine probable cause these days. Even a landlord has to give a tenant notice when entering the premises.....! But then again, the guests didn't HAVE to let the "repairmen" enter their suite!:rolleyes:
     
  2. smartone

    smartone VIP Whale

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    I was told once and by someone I trust... do not fool yourself into thinking you have the same expectation of privacy in a hotel room that you do at your private residence OR a rented or leased apartment or condo. Not sure of the legalities of that, but sounded reasonable to me.
     
  3. klawrey

    klawrey High-Roller

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    You're right that you shouldn't necessarily trust that expectation of privacy but if you are lawfully in a hotel that you have booked then technically you are supposed to be afforded the same rrasonable expectation of privacy as you would in your home. I think the magistrate in suggesting the evidence be tossed because of the illegality of the search and seizure is right on in this case. Will be I retesting to get the district judges ruling and opinion on this.

    When studying for the bar exam a few months ago I never would've guessed the reasonable expectation of privacy in a hotel would come up so blatantly in the real world but I do remember learning about it :evillaugh
     
  4. Piggylane

    Piggylane Well-Known Member

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    Since he is a Malaysian businessman does he have the same constitutional rights as a U.S. citizen? Obviously not. The second amendment doesn't apply as I'm not aware of any non-US citizen getting a gun permit in my area. So if that one doesn't, why the expectation of the fourth amendment?

    I'm not an attorney, feel that the constitution should be followed by all, to the letter as written (maybe we don't need the third anymore), government needs to follow it too. Looks like the Police screwed up here but the guy isn't a U.S. citizen, clearly breaking the law by running an illegal gambling operation. I'm just conflicted on this one.
     
  5. klawrey

    klawrey High-Roller

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    Your sentiment as far as non-citizens is well taken and a common conflict one must struggle with. Remember while he may not be "protected" by the Constitution, as you mentioned it does not absolved law enforcement from conducting warrantless searches in violation of the Constitution. If a court were to deem this behavior "okay" because it was not a U.S. citizen that opinion could still be used by law enforcement to conduct these types of searches from the viewpoint that it is Constitutional and there is no reasonable expectation of privacy. Basically, it would be a very slippery slope to rule in that favor. When a Constitutional issue arises it is better to err on the side of caution and throw out the evidence in this case than to err on the side of "justice" and go down a slippery slope. From a legal perspective this guy is fairly harmless in that he wasn't killing people or trafficking humans, he was taking illegal bets. My Constitutional freedoms and protections are of more value to me than the government running these types of unconstitutional searches on citizens or non-citizens to capture not violent criminals, you may be able to persuade me if it was a serial killer or rapist or human trafficker but for an illegal gambling operation tough break, toss the evidence and make the cops catch him the right way.
     
  6. 44inarow

    44inarow VIP Whale

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    Foreign nationals are 100% protected by certain provisions of the Constitution, particularly when it comes to the judicial system. The Second and Fourth Amendments both refer to "the people", but courts have held that the word is to be construed somewhat differently depending on the context. In addition, the Fourth Amendment (and other judicial-related provisions) act primarily to restrict the government and the court system; remember that the specific question here isn't so much whether or not the police could search his room, but rather whether any evidence they found can be used in court. It's a subtle but important distinction. After all, if the Constitution didn't protect foreign nationals in the courts, then pretty much any non-citizen arrested in the country could be just thrown in jail indefinitely.

    The exact contours of the what's acceptable and what's not can get complicated, though.
     
  7. klawrey

    klawrey High-Roller

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    Excellent explanation. This is more so about the government action of the search and the resulting seizure than who was subject to the action, in this case the foreign national.
     
  8. abrolsma

    abrolsma Low-Roller

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    My biggest issue with all of these types of cases is the audacity to think this would hold up in court. That the rules do not apply. Someone, especially given the non violent nature of the alleged crime, didn't offer up a better, legal option? Really?

    And if there is no expectation of privacy in a hotel room then I am setting up some cameras this weekend at Harrah's!
     
  9. klawrey

    klawrey High-Roller

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    If you're going for other guest rooms try Cosmo, a lot more talent over there than Harrah's. :wink2:
     
  10. abrolsma

    abrolsma Low-Roller

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    If I could more than like this ... I would. :;-)
     
  11. Landshark

    Landshark Way into it...

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    Disclosure: In the business of hotel management.

    "You do not get to lie to the defendant,"

    Oops. Nope, the cops and anyone in Law Enforcement can and will lie to you with impunty, and there's nothing you can do about it.

    "Wei Seng "Paul" Phua and several others were arrested in July after federal agents raided the Caesars Palace villas where they were staying and seized numerous computers, cellphones and cash. Prosecutors said some $13 million in bets had been wagered up to that point.

    Defense attorneys argued Monday that the evidence should be thrown out because of the way agents went about collecting information in order to seek a search warrant — enlisting a Caesars contractor to shut off the room's Internet access so agents disguised as repairmen could enter and record footage with hidden cameras — and only revealing the ruse much later in the course of the case."
     
  12. La$Vega$

    La$Vega$ Low-Roller

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    So they let in a 'repairman', obviously they never heard of Voltaire.
     
  13. luvzmuzik

    luvzmuzik Tourist

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    Just in case anyone is interested, it looks like the judge threw out the case against the Malaysian businessman who was subjected to a warrantless search in his Caesar's Villa, citing "government misconduct". I'm not sure the government will go away quietly though. Interesting side note, apparently Phil Ivey had helped put up the guy's bail which was a really nice thing to do considering he's had his own expensive legal problems!

    http://www.reviewjournal.com/news/las-vegas/judge-guts-illegal-gambling-case-against-malaysian-businessman
     
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